Now, I’m not an expert when it comes to treating any kind of injury so I recommend you speak to your doctor before commencing any self-help treatment. This post is about my experience with Plantar Fasciitis and how I helped/treated myself.
My plantar fasciitis occurred this summer and was a result of wearing flip-flop type shoes and my beloved Converse trainers, and then taking up a new exercise regime in the guise of C25K (couch to 5 K).
On the final run of week 8, I noticed my heel had started to become sore. When I started week 9 a few days later and had to stop almost immediately as the pain was unbearable and disappointingly, I hobbled home. The pain became worse and I could barely walk. My doctor confirmed I had plantar fasciitis; there was nothing I could do except wait until it had healed. She suggested rolling my foot on ice and taking ibuprofen. Now I had the diagnosis, I googled.
It seems that a cure for one may not necessarily be a cure for another. Armed with this info, this is how I ‘cured’ my plantar fasciitis:
1. Took ibuprofen. Not ideal, but it did help a bit.
2. Bought insoles designed for this condition. (Scholl Orthaheel if you are interested)
3. Wore supportive shoes AT ALL TIMES. Trainers during the day and plastic shoes directly getting out of bed and in the shower. Yes, in the shower too! It is important not to put your foot directly on a hard floor.
4. Rolled my foot on a bottle of ice a few times a day.
5. Rolled my foot on a golf ball a few times a day for up to 20 minutes at a time. Actually quite relaxing!
6. Stretch. All. The.Time.
7. Scrunch feet as many times as I remembered.
8. Made a DIY night splint. In actual fact, this is the treatment that helped me the MOST. The first night I wore this I felt immediate relief the following morning.
I made the splint out of a long sock and some straps cut off and old ruck sack. I sewed (basic, easy sewing, no experience required!) a strap around the top of the sock and a strap from the top to the toe. It doesn’t really matter about the exactness, it’s important to find a way to keep the foot ‘flexed’ in this position all night. (You can see the plastic shoes in the background too!)
9. Be aggressive with the treatment. Treat it all the time. If you are sitting, roll a golf ball under your foot. If you are waiting for the kettle to boil, do a few stretches. One or two stretches once a day will not aid recovery. Yes, it takes a long time to go but you can only help yourself by treating it continuously.
10. Finally, probably the most important issue of all…get proper well, fitting running shoes and wear well fitting shoes in my day-to-day life. Sadly, the days of converse and cheap flip-flops are gone.
It has taken 8 weeks for the Plantar Fasciitis to heal. The doctor recommended starting my running again slowly, so as from tomorrow I will start C25K all over again and hopefully this time I can reach week 9 without injury.